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Creature 44 is one of those weird and unlikely life-forms that remind me of my early days of role-playing. Do you remember when you were young, and your mind was still soft enough to accept deviations from its logical discrimination of reality? You know when you could encounter basically anything in a dungeon, without particular cause, and outside of any credible (stringent) story-line? Do you remember how it was all very magical then? A few years later the Game Master would make sure to install a toilet compartment (of sorts) in every orcs' nest, and remind you that bow-strings turned useless in rain. I guess we are different here, as people. Some of us seem to be very stuck on logic, while others are more open to the strange and inexplicable. If you enjoy the works of David Lynch and Hayao Miyazaki you probably belong to the later kind, and then there is also a greater chance that you enjoy this creature. I would prefer myself to have this strange revelation just show up and have no idea of what it was or where it came from, but since this is a bestiary I have done my best to give it a background and context of sorts... oh, and when I say great thickets, I mean GREAT thickets... and from there I will let your imagination set the boundaries.
CATEGORY: Mammal (magical)
TERRAIN: In or nearby great thickets and brushwood
SIZE: 7 feet (210 cm) tall, without facial horns
STRENGTH: 24-30 (2-3)
AGILITY: 7-11 (8-12)
ENDURANCE: 15-20 (5-7)
MENTAL RESILIENCE: 7-11
(If stats of a human ranges from 3 to 18)
SPEED: Running x 1 (Running x 0,4)
(Multiple is times human speed)
MAGIC POWER: 5-10
(Ranges from 0-100)
HIT POINTS: 25-29 (2-5)
(If a human commoner has about 11 hit points)
AVERAGE: 3 (0)
HEAD: 4 (0)
BODY: 3 (0)
The hide of the Sarranath is tough to withstand the many thorns and nettles of the great thickets in which they move. The facial skin especially is hardened by years of rooting around in the undergrowth, and through thorny magical kingdoms.
1 FACIAL TUSKS ATTACK: 2-24 (1-3)
1 BITE: 1-4 (1)
2 CLAWS: 1-8 (1-2)
2 CLAWED HANDS: 1-6 (1)
(If a Long Sword causes 1-8 points of damage)
The giant tusks, or facial blades of the Sarranath are formidable weapons. They move up or down with the jaws of the creature, but cannot be wielded separately. The Sarranath uses these to swiftly penetrate thick shrubbery, and similar faerie hide-outs. The claws are used for more methodical cleansing, and the powerful hands to dig into hidden burrows, or to crush and squeeze the secrets and life out of the Sarranath's prey. With an arsenal of natural weapons the creatures see no real use for crafted arms and tools.
DETECT INVISIBILITY: The Sarranath eyes have turned sharp and can perceive invisible things and creatures with the same clarity as the rest of the world.
SHRINK: Once a day the Sarranath can cast a powerful spell of shrinking, and turn swiftly into a rabbit-sized version of itself. The spell lasts for two hours and may be used without restrictions. The increased vulnerability of this state, means the Sarranath uses this power rarely, and only when it can think of no other way of spotting new faerie rich hunting grounds. (See parenthesised characteristics for small size values.)
In the greater thickets, where pixies, brownies, and faeries make their kingdoms, there hunt the Sarranath. Once a group of sly trolls discovered that by eating the wee folk, they could extract their magic and reshape it for their own warped purposes. From that day they would feed solely on the faerie kind, and utilized their new enchantments to this very aim. With faerie magic pulsing through their dark blood, the trolls transformed into the Sarranath, and tore through the thorns and brushwood with previously unparalleled efficiency. No longer mere muscular brutes, the Sarranath trolls developed powers of faerie-like mischief and trickery, and new strategies in their hunt for fae flesh.
The magic power of the Sarranath is limited, but they can cast minor spells of concealment and illusion, and produce a variety of magical traps. Still, they delight in charging through the bushes and ripping the fabric of the faerie worlds to pieces. The acquisition of subtler and more sophisticated ways of hunting, have not reduced their trollish nature. Rather, they have turned even greedier and more bestial in their hunger for further faecraft.
The Sarranath live and hunt solitary or in pairs. Competition tears any group apart. They move about on all fours. Being forward heavy, they must use at least one hand for support. The strange petal collars works as partial camouflage, and some Sarranath are all but fully covered in this bodily foliage, which change colors periodically to emulate seasonal flowers and plants.
The creatures sleep in great dugouts close to their hunting grounds. Sleeping inside the thickets would make them too exposed to the faerie powers. They can live for 200 years, and occupy themselves with little but hunting. Faeries are hard to catch and doing so requires the single minded attention and the day long devotion of the Sarranath trolls – who unlike their distant relatives can roam freely in full sunlight.
(Check out more creatures in the 'Creature Archive' menu to the left.)
© Copyright 2011 - Nicholas Cloister